For the New Year

The start of the New Year is traditionally a time for reflecting on the year just ending, and resolving to do things differently in the days ahead. We all know the routine resolutions: exercise more, eat better, perhaps taking on a more “green” lifestyle, being better prepared, or cutting down on TV or computer time and replace it with more “face” time with family.

All of these are fine resolutions, however, there are others that may take a bite out of personal time, but in the long run may be easier to maintain throughout the year, and with longer lasting results.

Want to make a truly lasting, impacting resolution? How about deciding to run for office?

Volunteers are needed to help our towns operate smoothly. While it takes no effort at all to complain about what goes on at town hall, it can be so much more rewarding to participate in the process and be in the right place at the right time to make positive changes. Get ready: the filing period begins in mid January.

Open seats often go unchallenged and the same people keep getting reelected, so open races ought to be encouraged. After all, a little change and a little completion is healthy.

If putting your name on the ballot is a little too stressful, there are always seats on boards, commissions, and committees in town that often go empty. Whether you want to start slowly as an alternate, or jump right in as a full member, you have a variety of interest areas to choose from, from conservation to housing, in which to offer your time for the betterment of your community.

We all know the difficulties some residents have in paying their taxes or dealing with the huge changes that have happened in their town, that effect the quality of life. The answer for this to some might be to move away, but most will find similar problems anywhere they go. Perhaps the better solution would be to make the effort to advocate for responsible spending right in your own hometown.

Since budget hearings and deliberative sessions are coming up in January and February, here’s another important resolution: Make a point of attending those events and speaking your mind, politely and reasonably, with facts as well as courtesy. At the very least, let your elected officials know what you think, no matter the subject, and encourage your neighbors to do the same. After all, if officials are unaware of a problem, it’s likely nothing will be done to resolve it.

Best of luck with your resolutions, no matter what they may be, and from all of us at Nutfield Publishing to all of you, our best wishes for a happy and healthy New Year.

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